Review: Jonathan Park: Ep. 68 – The Search for the Beagle, Part 2
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One of the most famous voyages of all time was Charles Darwin’s expedition to the Galapagos on the HMS Beagle. There was one more voyage, followed by a coast guard assignment, before the notorious vessel disappeared from history. That’s bad news for the Creation Response Team, who just discovered that the next clue in the Polar Star Scavenger Hunt is buried in its hull! They must beat Trenton and Mitch in a race to rediscover the Beagle! (taken from here.)
There is NO Study Guide available for Volume 6 (Episodes 61-72).
The Jonathan Park CDs are produced by Vision Forum Ministries. Through these CDs, VF hope to ‘provide children and adults with scientific evidence that is in harmony with the Word of God’. [Which raises the questions, ‘What does “in harmony” mean?’ and ‘What do they do with scientific evidence that is not in harmony with the Word of God?’]
Tagline: This is our Father’s world, God created it; we can explore it, so live the adventure!
NOTE: The producers of this series neglect to reference their information in any form. No references is ever given either on the CD or in the Study Guide for ANY information presented in the series. Even the voice actors of the series are not given any credit anywhere. We only know that the series is a production of Vision Forum Ministries.
The Story: This episode contained a lot of information on the HMS Beagle. The Creation Response Team, in search of the next clue in their scavenger hunt, choose to fund the research necessary so that they can get help finding their next clue.
Dr Pilner takes the CRT out on the river where he uses a ground-penetrating radar (GPR) to locate the HMS Beagle. (GPRs were very briefly mentioned in Episode 42.) He then goes on to say that Charles Darwin has had a major impact on his thinking. The world at that time had entered the Age of Enlightenment – a time for challenging ideas that had been commonly held – and therefore was ripe for Darwin’s thinking. Many were already accepting some form of evolution, and others were asserting that concepts like ‘Survival of the Fittest’ applied to business, populations and society as a whole. This set the stage for Alfred Russell Wallace.
Behind Dr Pilner’s back, Dr Park very piously says, ‘You know, I really appreciate all that Dr Pilner just said, but it reminded me of Romans 1 which basically says that the evidence for the Creator is all around us so men are without excuse. But then it goes on to talk about the consequences when they reject the Creator.’
Jim latches on to this and says, ‘Right, “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.”‘
Martha says, ‘And as Dr Pilner described the rise of evolution, I see how society followed that very order described in Romans.’
Response: Dr Pilner never mentioned whether he believed in God or not. How the CRT can sit there and ‘judge’ him is astounding!!
Here is Romans 1:20 for context:
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse. [emphasis added]
We can understand the Creator by looking at the things that are made, ie, by studying the world around us.
What Creationism does, on the other hand, looks nothing like this, and in fact, violates this principle. Instead of looking at ‘the things that are made’ and drawing conclusions from that, they seek to support the creation model, based on a plain, literal interpretation of Genesis 1-11.
The Story: While rummaging around the attic of Newton Bracewell’s house looking for clues that might help the CRT on the scavenger hunt, the Junior CRT learn more about the Bracewells from his great-granddaughter. Newton Bracewell is the mastermind behind the scavenger hunt. We learn that Marshall rejected God and several generations of Bracewells were raised in unbelieving homes. However, as the great-granddaughter (Sarah Worthington) says, “My brother, Alan, and I were raised in an unbelieving family…It’s only by His grace that the LORD grabbed on to Alan’s heart and eventually mine.’
Response: I’m not sure what kind of theology Vision Forum espouses.
Sarah seems to be saying that although she and her brother were raised in a non-Christian home, God – in His grace – saw fit to draw them to Him. So, it appears that God is the One who does the drawing.
And yet, just one episode ago, Dr Park said that the scavenger hunt has shown how important it is [to believe in the truth because what one generation believes will influence future generations]. ‘In some cases they passed down a trust in God’s Word, and in others we see the journey into unbelief as one generation of men built upon the last generation of rejecting God.’
There seems to be an inconsistency. God is able to call people to Him, but when/if others fall away, God needs human assistance. This was portrayed in Episode 29 and Episode 30; and again here in Volume 6, where a father ‘must’ do something to pull back a ‘wayward’ son.
The Story: Jonathan and Dr Park talk about how Charles Darwin started out as a believer, but as he became convinced about the evidence for evolution, he started to doubt the Creation account. Jonathan opines, ‘First a person rejects the accounts in Genesis and then the entire Old Testament.’ Dr Park affirms this and adds, ‘..and on to doubting the New Testament….What began as doubting the Creation account finally worked its full course to unbelief.’
‘Many have followed the same path as Darwin. First they start questioning the Creation account, and then travel all the way to complete rejection of Jesus Christ.’
Response: This is why Creationists work so hard to deny evolution. It is not on scientific grounds, but, on a fundamental level, it is on religious grounds. If people start questioning the historicity of a plain, literal reading of the Creation account, they are on the slippery slope to unbelief. So, something must be done so that people don’t ever take that first step.
Young people are leaving the church in droves – and the Creationists would have you believe that it is because the ‘lie of evolution’ is so compelling, and that young people have no recourse because they have not been well-equipped to make a stand for Creation. So, Creationists have to come up with ‘Evidences’ for Creation, giving these kids a false sense of security. It is ‘false’ because when these kids go on to higher learning (if they are able), they will realise that all that they have been taught about Creationism were lies, lies and damned lies. What is a Christian to do? After all, he was taught that he can’t ‘believe’ in evolution and be a Christian. This teaching came straight from the YECists. The only intellectually honest thing a person in this situation can do would be to leave Christianity. These kids are to be applauded for having some integrity.
The bulk of this episode – indeed, this whole volume – is to showcase the factors that influenced Darwin’s thinking and to impress upon listeners on how sad the whole situation is. We are reminded to hold on to a plain reading of Genesis because any doubt could be start of the journey to total unbelief and rejection of God. And what we believe will influence future generations.
There is a LOT more information that I did not address. Since there is NO Study Guide available with this volume, it makes investigating the information presented quite a task.